Andy Enfield Coaching The Cinderella Team

Andy Enfield Coaching The Cinderella Team

Coaching THE Cinderella Team of 2013

You’ll remember his name, Andy Enfield.  He is the coach of the Florida Gulf Coast University men’s basketball team.  A school unheard of until March Madness, because it only had its first full classes in 1997, and has spent just 591 days with full Division 1 status.

Seeded at number 15, no one was paying much attention to their relatively new program.  Everyone is watching them now.  They easily defeated powerhouse Georgetown, and yesterday did the same to San Diego State.  They have become the first 15 seed team in NCAA history to make it to the “sweet sixteen”.

Much of the credit has to go to Enfield.  He believes in them and they believe in him.  He has instilled confidence and has put a “fire in their bellies”.

So, where did this man come from?

He has his own credentials as a player.  He was the all-time leader in free throw percentage in the NCAA when he played for Johns Hopkins University.

In the mid-nineties he began coaching with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics.

He married Supermodel Amanda Marcum.

He is the father of three children.

And now the eyes of the basketball world are on him and his team.

And he has a very lucrative career beyond basketball.  He is the co-founder of a company that at one time was valued at 100 million dollars.  He partnered with Tom Rizk to start privately owned software contract management company TractManager in 2000.

“My partner is a genius, I can say that for certain,” Enfield told Sports Illustrated’s Tim Layden. “I retain a part of company, but I’m not involved any way in management,” Enfield said.

And he has a love of paisley ties.

His style of coaching is to stay on the attack.  Possibly the best example was in the closing minutes of Friday’s game with Georgetown.  FGCU was losing their lead.  The score was 65-58 when guard Brett Comer lofted the ball ahead to Chase Fieler, who flew through the air, arms above the basket, and completed the alley-oop.  The Hoya bench was in awe, and seemed to lose their collective breath.

Comer is averaging 12 assists per game, Sherrod Brown is unstoppable, and Fieler is playing the role of Superman.  How far can they go?  We’ll see when they play 3rd seeded Florida on Friday.

They’ll undoubtedly be the underdogs, but betting against them could lose you some greenbacks.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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